We test all sorts of products here at Aerogeeks HQ, and yet we’re still amazed how often the simplest products can have the biggest impact. While not flashy or expensive, these are the items that become permanent components of our training rituals. Nathan Sport’s LightBender was a perfect example of a product that took us by surprise.
Truth be told, when we first received Nathan Sport’s LightBender, we were a bit underwhelmed. Sure, it was a new way to wear a running strobe. But what’s the big deal? Turns out that by the end of our first use, we quickly ordered a set for the team. And just like that, the LightBender became one of our must-have accessories for almost any workout.
The LightBender wraps around your arm or leg and provides a 180° strobe to anyone (or possibly anything) around you. We found the LightBender to be extremely comfortable and quickly took to wearing it on all runs and rides (wearing on the arm nearest to traffic). Because of its wraparound design, the light stands out much more than other strobes or click-on lights we’ve previously carried. It’s intense glow has led to many a fellow runner stopping us to ask about the LightBender.
The light itself has both always-on and blinking modes, though we typically left it blinking (all the easier for traffic to see us). Typically we faced the center of the arch either perpendicular to our body or in the direction of traffic.
As for battery life, the LightBender is powered by a standard watch battery and tended to last about 2-3 months. Replacing the battery was simple. It just requires a quarter to access the battery compartment.
Our only issue with the LightBender was the waterproofing. Nathan Sports claims IPX4 certification, and while most of our editors never had an issue with it – unfortunately one did. One of our editors (and no, we are not saying which one) tends to perspire quite a bit more than what you’d consider “average.” And during his extended use of the LightBender, moisture found its way into the battery compartment, which resulted in corrosion. He went through two LightBenders and saw the same issue with both. However, in both cases, it tended to happen after at least 2-3 months of wear. And as a testament to just how good these are, we had no issue buying a new LightBender to replace it.
At $20 the LightBender isn’t the cheapest option out there (especially if you need to replace it every few months). But to us, it has been worth every dollar. Any time we have a chance to run or ride safer, we are going to take it. And when you are being stopped on the street to answer questions about a strobe, you know that others are taking notice as well. And in this case, it’s all about being seen.